Ever since the outbreak, a few years ago now, of foot and mouth disease the old Duke of Devonshire decided to keep Chatsworth open up to Christmas and decorate with trees and candles to try to help the estate as they had lost so much money as people had stopped going out because of all the restrictions.
DH, The Boys and I went that first year and it was lovely to see the house at Christmas and it was so popular that they have carried on doing this every year now. They also decided to have a different theme each year to make it interesting for regular visitors. This year’s theme was “Fairy Tales”. I hope you enjoy the pictures, there are a lot of them!!!!!
The walk up to the entrance had images of some of the fairy tales projected onto the walls.
As there are so many pictures I decided to add them like this. This is the entrance to the house where there is always a huge roaring fire in winter. Above it is one of my most favourite paintings of all the Dogs sitting in Judgment. In the entrance was a huge orange Dragon called Arthur.
This was Charlotte’s Webb down the main corridor and at the end this brightly lit tree.
Down the next corridor we join Peter Rabbit and his family on a country walk.
Turning into the Family Chapel where Cinderella’s carriage sat with a wonderful tree in the corner. The orange colours were just stunning.
You move through the Chapel into the Wood Drawing Room which had The Princess & the Pea representation in, including a Tiara worn by one of the Duchesses at the coronation of Edward VII.
We then found the Elf and The Shoemaker busy at work and they also had a display of shoes worn by various Devonshire relatives at different times, as well as a sewing kit sat on the top of the mantle piece.
We then walked through a covered walk way actually outside in the centre of Chatsworth House to get to The Great Hall/Painted Hall where there were several very large decorated trees, also mince pies and a drink, which was very nice. They also had a Trio playing in front of the fire Christmas music. It was all very civilised as there are only a small number of tickets for this event so you were not being pushed or hurried along.
You then proceed up the central staircase and another staircase to the main rooms the first one showing Sleeping Beauty.
You then move through a new room opened this year through a corridor into the old Queen’s Bedrooms where Mary Queen of Scots once stayed. The Broomstick in the cabinet is a Firebolt from the Harry Potter movie and books, signed by J.K. Rowling and given to the Old Duke.
We were then in Mary Poppins bedroom with the kites and her favourite things and a children’s Christmas tree. Of course the new film about Mary Poppins comes out in December with Emily Blunt playing the lead and I really want to go and see it!
In the back staircase was James & The Giant Peach hanging down the staircase from the Rotunda. Apparently this was originally covered up by a previous Duchess as she felt it let in too much cold air but has now been re-opened by the current Duchess.
Standing with our back to this staircase you are then able to look over into the Great Hall/Painted Hall and also see the top of the Christmas Trees. This one is my favourite as I just love the red and green, which is what our family Christmas tree always is.
You then travel down the old servants staircase and come out by my most favourite room of all time and I could live here, the Library. I always think that there are minimal decorations in here as the family use it every evening and especially at Christmas. I just love it.
You then move through the anti-Library into the dining room, below.
In the anti-Library we found Winnie The Pooh and his friends and also Bagpuss.
In the Dining Room we found Aladdin and The Arabian Nights with his flying carpet and the decorations and trees in here were very rich gold colours.
You then move from the Dining Room through another small corridor into the Stone Room where there are lots of statues collected by various Dukes over the years and to me is always very cold after the Library and Dining Room. This was definitely reflected in the choice of decorations and it being the home of The Snowman! There were also a hand bell ringing group in this room again playing Christmas music.
DH and I really enjoyed the evening, especially as it was dark so all the lights, trees and candles stood out very much.
DH and I in front of the huge mirror where the Sleeping Beauty story was playing.
Sorry it was a long post with lots of pictures but I thought you would love to see the decorations, they were really good.
Have a wonderful Tuesday.
Hugs, Susie xx